In celebration of our 50th anniversary, each month we will be sharing a story that highlights one of our programs or treatment populations. This month we had a moment to catch up with former ElderCare client Sheryl, who is now two years sober and still works closely with our Outpatient program.
In 2014, Sheryl, 53, was early in her recovery. She had recently completed a rehabilitation program and, though she felt good about her new life, she knew from past experiences that she needed the support of peers who understand the complexities that come from struggling with an addiction for over 30 years. As an older adult who had been addicted to crack cocaine for so long, Sheryl felt that the challenges she faced were unique and needed to be treated as such.
The Odyssey House ElderCare program gave her the hope and push she needed to stay on track to continue her recovery. Today, Sheryl is two years clean and “feels wonderful.” She credits much of her success to the counselors who were with her “every step of the way.” As someone who typically kept to herself, her counselors encouraged her to open up and speak during her group therapy sessions. Sheryl took this opportunity to challenge herself and found engaging with her peers made her feel comfortable and understood. “I want to be able to tell my story, and show others that living clean and sober is a wonderful way to live life.”
Sheryl is committed to spreading positive messages. She is an integral member of our Odyssey House community and helps facilitate the Women’s Group at our Outpatient program in the Bronx. She also reaches out to others in her community that have the same struggles she has. “I just want to give back and help the organization that helped me become who I am today.”
Sheryl is job seeking and will begin night school in the upcoming month to secure her high school equivalency. She attends regular group therapies through Odyssey House and hopes to become a Recovery Coach through the program. “I am very happy, and I owe it to Odyssey House.”